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Thread: Lens Help

  1. #1
    Senior Member ecliffordsmith's Avatar
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    Lens Help

    Hi All,

    A friend bought a Canon 400D earlier this year and got two kit zooms in the package. These are quite slow and his birthday is fast approaching and a group of us were considering clubbing together and getting him a prime lens, perhaps a 35 or 50.

    I do not own or know about any Canon gear so I was wondering if any of you here would be so kind as to suggest any lenses or opinions about the entry level models. Are there any gems or steer clear of models? We would probably have about 200 EUR to spend. Can anything good be bought for this amount or is it worth getting a coupon he can put towards something better? Is focus shift/sample variation a problem with fast Canon primes or can you safely buy without checking against the camera first.

    Many thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Panopeeper
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    Re: Lens Help

    The Canon 50mm f/1.4 (watch out, NOT the f/1.8) is the "standard" prime. Just in the price range you indicated (US price: $340 or so). Sharp, fast focusing, good in low light as well.

    However, the 400D is a "cropping" camera, the 50mm works like 80mm on full frame; it is too long indoors.

    The Canon 35mm f/2 is cheaper, around $200, it has a relative good reputation (I have not used it), but it does not excell enough to be added to the zooms. The 35mm f/1.4 is far-far more expensive.

    The 50mm f/1.4 has been my main lens years long, until I purchased the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 (this is only for cropping cameras, not working on full frame). This one replaced everything else in that range, even the 50mm prime. However, it costs about $1000.

    The other excellent prime in the very same price range is the 85mm f/1.8, particularly for portraits.

    You can see samples with both of these in my bokeh samples The pearl-like bokeh of the 50mm f/1.4 is not my favourite, but that's a question of taste.

  3. #3
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    Re: Lens Help

    A great place to check for lenses tests is www.photozone.de

    The 50/1.4 is very good, the 85/1.8 also (see PZ tests)
    The 50/1.8II 'plastic fantastic' is a very cheap lens, but excellent value for the $$
    The 50/2.5 macro is sharp, but SLOW focusing.

    In the price range, etc., I be tempted to go for the 85/1.8

  4. #4
    Senior Member ecliffordsmith's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Help

    Gabor/Rob,

    Thank you both very much for the useful information.

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